Jun 2, 5:17 PM (ET)
By MARK SHERMAN
WASHINGTON (AP) – Wen Ho Lee, the former nuclear weapons scientist once suspected of being a spy, settled his privacy lawsuit Friday and will receive $1.6 million from the government and five news organizations in a case that turned into a fight over reporters’ confidential sources.
Lee will receive $895,000 from the government for legal fees and associated taxes in the 6 1/2-year-old lawsuit in which he accused the Energy and Justice departments of violating his privacy rights by leaking information that he was under investigation as a spy for China.
The Associated Press and four other news organizations have agreed to pay Lee $750,000 as part of the settlement, which ends contempt of court proceedings against five reporters who refused to disclose the sources of their stories about the espionage investigation.
Lee said of the settlement: “We are hopeful that the agreements reached today will send the strong message that government officials and journalists must and should act responsibly in discharging their duties and be sensitive to the privacy interests afforded to every citizen of this country.”